Lorenzo Strongest as Riders Compare Slick Compounds at Brno
MotoGP’s Czech Grand Prix weekend got underway with Free Practice today, and riders were keen to compare the balance of the slick compounds Bridgestone has provided (hard and extra-hard at the front, hard and medium at the rear. Fiat Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo continued his strong form during the first hour-long free practice session at Brno, setting the fastest time by more than half a second, his best coming on the harder variants.
Dani Pedrosa and Valentino Rossi finished second and third fastest, but both set their best times using the softer rear slick. The session was brought to a temporary halt when light rain started to fall in the last fifteen minutes of the scheduled hour. As the shower ceased, Hector Barbera, Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and Loris Capirossi ventured back out in the closing minutes of the session and the track remained dry enough for them all to continue using slick tyres. The weather forecast over the next two days is mixed, suggesting a damp track tomorrow morning for the second free practice after overnight rain, followed by a fine qualifying session but a return to rain for Sunday’s race.
Tohru Ubukata, manager of Bridgestone’s Motorcycle Tyre Development Department said: “This session was cut short by the rain shower so many riders will have to continue their tyre compound comparisons tomorrow, mainly with regards rear tyre choice. Front tyre choice will be easier as all today favoured the harder front, but we saw amongst the top three that both the harder and the softer rear provide a similar level of performance. The conditions cooled towards the end of the session because of the shower, but the times are still half a second off last year’s record, set by Jorge on our tyres, so there is more to come this weekend if the weather remains good. This is uncertain however, so we are prepared with our soft compound wets.”